Psychology in USVI
I have a fairly specific question about the mental health situation in USVI. I have tried emailing both the USVI Psychological Association and chamber of commerce but have not received a response, so I thought I would reach out here in the hopes someone might have some experience or information to share.
Basically, I'm a licensed clinical psychologist on the mainland planning to move to the USVI in the next year or two. I've spent time in the USVI and have always had the dream to one day live there, and it seems like I'm approaching a position where my savings will allow me to make the leap! Before I go, I obviously would like to gather as much information as possible about the practice of psychology in the USVI. I've read that mental health is in a bit of a crisis there, with a lot of private practitioners leaving the islands due to insufficient reimbursement rates from insurance companies as well as the devastating effects of the recent hurricanes. Is there anyone on the list who is in the field or has experience with the field and could provide any additional information? I'm just looking to educate myself as to what to expect in terms of the job market or the feasibility of sustaining a part or full time private practice on the islands.
Alternatively, if anyone has any ideas about who I might reach out to besides chamber of commerce or USVI Psychological Association for relevant information, I'd welcome that as well.
Thanks to all in advance!
I would say that there is a need for people in your profession, but I will also say that a lot of those who need it don't seek it. There are many uninsured here. And the stigma that seems to follow any mental health issues is stronger here in my opinion. I'm on St. John and there is a non profit clinic that offers counseling at a very reduced rate. There is also a satellite office for Insight Psychological Services on St. John that offers therapy at $150 a session. I have too many stories to tell about heartbreaking situations where individuals with mental health issues have been treated poorly, been arrested and thrown in jail, murdered, committed suicide. You might want to reach out to Insight Psychological Services on St. Thomas. They may be able to help you with some of your questions. Good luck.
I second contacting Lori Thompson, Ph.D., or one of the other psychologists at Insight. They have built up quite a practice.
Thanks all for your replies; this is a very helpful lead!
Difficult situation . I can’t give a definite answer. The human psyche is very complex.
I know it St. Thomas the part of the problem had to do with families... There was a homeless person that hung around Havensight mall before the 2017 storms that had a big hump on his back, and some of the ones that hung around down town, many came from very well to do families. When an attempt was made to get them off the street and get them help, the families would put pressure on and they would be back on the street. I guess the stigma of having a family member being treated for mental illness was unacceptable to said families.....
As others have said there is a definite need for Psych professionals here, hell we all have to be crazy to put up with what we do on a daily basis to live here, or as the old saying goes..
The Virgin Islands, We are here because we're not all there